Choosing ZeaONE® / OPTISHARP® Natural — An Important Difference

All naturally-sourced zeaxanthin is not the same

Even though some zeaxanthin ingredients are sourced naturally, they aren’t all equal. In fact, zeaxanthin can be either in a non-esterified form (called also "free-form") or in an esterified form. And the difference between them is significant...

ZeaONE / OPTISHARP Natural is a free-form of zeaxanthin naturally-sourced from marigold flowers. Kemin manufactures ZeaONE in accordance with the U.S. FDA Good Manufacturing Process (GMPs) facility and delivers it through a carefully controlled supply chain.

Our body prefers "free" zeaxanthin

Through our diet and/or supplements, zeaxanthin is absorbed and selectively deposited in the eye3, brain4, skin10 and even breastmilk.11,12 Research has shown that only the free-form of zeaxanthin is found in these tissues and is directly absorbed into the bloodstream delivering all important intended benefits,13 while  zeaxanthin esters are not.

Free zeaxanthin vs zea-esters
Since esters may not be efficiently absorbed by our bodies in order to use them, free zeaxanthin - like the one found in the majority of the fruits and vegetables that we eat - is the preferred form.While there is evidence that esters can be converted to free-form zeaxanthin by our bodies, the rate of conversion is not well-studied and the mechanism, for the most part, is unknown. In fact, before zeaxanthin esters can be bioavailable and absorbed, the body must first solubilize them in fat and then de-esterify them by enzymatic cleavage of the fatty acids through a complex process that varies greatly among individuals and affects absorption.13

See the difference between ester and free zeaxanthin





Be Aware of Meso-Zeaxanthin supplemental_meso-zeaxanthin_made_from_lutein_using_heat-and-alkaline_environment

Demand the real thing

Not all zeaxanthin is the same. Some products are misrepresented as containing dietary zeaxanthin, when in fact, they are purposefully formulated to contain a zeaxanthin stereoisomer: 3R, 3’S-meso-zeaxanthin. Meso-zeaxanthin, sometimes confusingly referenced on labeling as “zeaxanthin isomers”, is quite different than dietary zeaxanthin and is not a suitable replacement.

Meso-zeaxanthin is not found naturally in the diet - For a reason dietary zeaxanthin lutein versus meso-zeaxanthin major difference clinical study naturally found in diet antioxidant blue light filter brain skin breast milk AREDS2

Our eyes are naturally protected by macular pigment, the majority of which is made up of two dietary nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin. The body absorbs these nutrients through our diet and selectively deposits them in the macula. Although meso-zeaxanthin is also found in macular pigment, research has demonstrated that this is the result of the body’s natural conversion of lutein in the macula.19,20,21

Nature has given us abundant sources of dietary zeaxanthin like the dietary zeaxanthin found in ZeaONE / OPTISHARP Natural. Meso-zeaxanthin; however, is not found naturally in any conventional dietary source.

The Science behind Meso-zeaxanthin is not Developed 

Evidence to support the use of meso-zeaxanthin is lacking compared to the overwhelming support in the published literature linking zeaxanthin and lutein supplementation to improved eye health.14

This includes the landmark AREDS25 study, where subjects were supplemented with lutein and zeaxanthin and not with meso-zeaxanthin.

To date, there has been no published research on the eye health or otherwise, in animal models or human clinicals using supplemental meso-zeaxanthin alone without the presence of zeaxanthin and lutein. This makes it impossible to attribute any effects to meso-zeaxanthin alone.

Additionally, research shows that supplemental meso-zeaxanthin may compete with zeaxanthin and lutein absorption, hindering them from reaching the macula where they are critical for maintaining healthy eyes and protecting our vision as we age.15-17

Choose proven

Hundreds of studies have shown that zeaxanthin and lutein help keep our eyes healthy, improve visual performance and maintain eye health as we age. In fact, the benefits of zeaxanthin and lutein supplementation are supported by 30 years of clinical studies.5,9,22,23


Like FloraGLO®, ZeaONE / OPTISHARP Natural is a Safe, High Quality Brand

For the past 20 years, Kemin has been committed to developing a market for high quality, science-backed ingredients, specifically FloraGLO Lutein. FloraGLO’s reputation for quality, safety and efficacy has helped make it the benchmark for safety of supplemental lutein for use across a lifespan. Click here to learn more.

Kemin received a favorable response from the FDA for its GRAS submission for ZeaONE, making it the first dietary (3R, 3R’) zeaxanthin from marigold flowers and the first brand to specifically evaluate the safety of ZeaONE zeaxanthin in pregnant women.

ZeaONE is a brand you can trust, that is proven safe for use across the lifespan in selected functional food and beverages.



References available upon request.

OPTISHARP® Natural is a Registered Trademark of DSM Nutritional Products Ltd.

OPTISHARP® Natural is made with patented ZeaOne(R) from KEMIN. ZeaOne is a [registered] trademark of KEMIN Industries, Inc. Licensed under U.S. Patent Nos. 6,748,351, 7,575,766 and 7,033,622.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Certain statements may not be applicable in all geographical regions. Product labeling and associated claims may differ based upon government requirements.

* Based on a biannual PubMed search analysis. Counts only include studies using FloraGLO brand Lutein. Numbers are considerably higher when other sources of dietary lutein and zeaxanthin are considered. (Kemin Foods L.C. Internal Memorandum based on PubMed Search 2015).

† Refers to trials where there were not individual investigators in common among all trials

+ JECFA: Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives



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